This vegan hot white chocolate is thick, rich and pretty much unforgettable. It has simple flavors, but the vanilla is important so don’t forget it like I did in batch two. I kept wondering why it was bland. sigh. It’s been that kind of…well…winter.
I have to tell you the truth, this is the opposite of fat-free. If you are on a fat-free eating plan try leaving out the cacao butter, but add extra vanilla and some cacao powder to make an oil-free hot chocolate.
What started this whole thing is the cacao butter that I found at Whole Foods. I had been looking for some for awhile and they never had it. But there it was on the shelf calling my name.
Somehow, I justified the price. I also decided to make some homemade milk and scrape some the vanilla bean I’ve been saving. I think vegan hot white chocolate qualifies as a special occasion!
Tip: Put the rest of the vanilla bean into a container with sugar to make vanilla sugar. Never let any part of a vanilla bean go to waste!
This is the fine mesh strainer I use. If you use a nut bag resist the temptation to squeeze every last bit of liquid out. When you are using oats a little restraint is needed so the mixture doesn’t get that slimy texture.
You should have about this much pulp after you strain your homemade milk. Doesn’t the milk in the pan above look luscious?
You can see in the photo above that the cacao butter is just starting to melt a little. The lumps are not completely melted yet, but the yellow spots are melted cacao butter.
Next you’ll see a mine field of cacao oil all over the top of your beautiful homemade milk. Do not panic! This is what it should be doing right now. Full disclosure, I totally panicked when I saw this on the first batch I made. I also found out that whisking is surprisingly calming.
Now put that whisk to work and do a little zen breathing if you’re still stressed. Between the heat, the oats in the milk and whisking, the oil will start to incorporate into your hot white chocolate.
Before you know it, it will start to look like something you want to drink. Don’t underestimate the power of the whisk.
Finally, the color will be slightly more white than yellow. Taste, and add more sweetener or vanilla if you think it needs a little more. Now ladle out into 2 small mugs. Try it with some coffee one morning for a vegan hot white mocha.
What coffeehouse drink to you miss since you’ve gone vegan?
Serves: 2 servings
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons raw almonds
- 1 tablespoons oats (Steel-cut, Scottish or Rolled will work)
- 4 dates, optional
- 4 tablespoons cacao butter, chopped
- ½ vanilla bean split or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sweetener of choice, to taste if not using dates
- Soak the milk ingredients (the water, cashews, almonds, oats and dates) at least 8 hours. I like to toss everything in my Vitamix before I leave the house for work.
- After it's soaked, blend well. Put a fine mesh strainer over a saucepan and strain the milk mixture to remove the sediment.
- Please note that you should have pulp left over. You can use this in a baked good or your morning bowl of oatmeal.
- Add the cacao butter, vanilla (either scraped or extract) to the saucepan. If you didn't use dates earlier, now is the time to add your sweetener.
- I used 2 tablespoons sugar in one batch, dates in another and monk fruit in the last. They all worked well and you will be able to add more later if it's not sweet enough for you.
- Heat over medium heat whisking all the time. First the cocoa butter will melt and cover the top of the mixture like an oil slick. Don't panic - this is supposed to happen.
- Keep whisking and the oil will incorporate and the oats in the milk will begin to thicken ever so slightly.
- It's a fine line between making it just right and cooking it too long until it looks like gravy. It is tasty gravy, so if that happens just whisk in some nondairy milk you have hiding in the fridge.
- I like to take it off the heat as soon as the oil droplets disappear (this takes between 5 to 10 minutes), but still whisking a minute more. If it doesn't thicken up enough put it back on the heat for another minute or so.
- I've made this thick like a liquid truffle or French hot chocolate and I like it that way. It will continue to thicken, so err on the side of thinness.